Unknown cliches

Page filled with blurred words,
I recall vibrant lines, try to forget
each bright place promised,

where death peers over a landscape
of still lifes frozen in primary colors.
I imagine a Yaqui warrior --

not with flute, haunting melodies
moaning through Western movies --
but one who warns old age lays

the final ambush and vanishes,
hinting it may not be enough
to spear setting sun to a place

low in the sky, let it bleed
into dusk, limp by half-light
up a steep draw, or down --

path there less about journey,
more, about redemption,
and forgiveness, which is said

to clear the way. Suns, deer,
stick men with bows, repeated
in paint on canyon walls,

faded reds, golds, greens,
live on, motifs, revered,
not unknown cliches who claim

half-respect only because
they have not yet died.
I rise early each last day,

sit alone, retell my stories,
eyes open, hope dawn bleeds,
remember, try not to sleep.



Timothy Pilgrim